Review of "Pentax MZ 5N"

published 07/04/2008 | wildtinsey
Member since : 15/02/2005
Reviews : 91
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About me :
My interests are motorbikes and photography. Specialising in nature and wildlife photography. Check out my ebay listings for magazines. Latest review is Nivea SOS hand cream.
Pro Lightweight and easy to use
Cons Manual focus can be tricky
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use

"Semi pro camera"

This is one of my favourite cameras to use especially for wildlife photography.
It is lightweight due to the body being made of plastic but still rugged enough to cope with everyday life.
The viewfinder is large and bright so any manual adjustments of focus that you require can be done. There is also a dioptre adjustment on the view finder to cater for those who wear glasses.

It has a built in flash on the top of the camera useful when used with the standard 28-80mm lens that is normally included when you buy the camera. The flash can be turned on or off, used on an automatic setting and also used on an anti red eye setting. All these work well.
I like to use an auxillary flash mounted to the side of the camera for indoor work especially at music gigs as i require the extra illumination that an external flash provides.

I have had this camera many years as an upgrade to my Pentax P30n as i wanted to try an autofocus camera.
There are a large array of lenses available for it. You can use Pentax lenses or for a wider range, try the likes of Sigma or Tamron. Both these other makes are as good if not better than the Pentax lenses available. Both silver or black coloured lenses look good on it due to the fact that both are present on the cameras body.
Manual lenses can be used but they arent easy to use as the focus screen makes it almost impossible to get the focusing spot on. If using a long focal length lens at the infinity setting the focusing is less of a problem.

The max shutter speed is 2000th/second this is adequate for most purposes but it would be nice if it was as fast as a Nikon F90x (8000th/second). It also has a bulb setting so you can go as slow as you like.
The film advance is powered and also has auto reverse when you reach the end of the film.
One of the nice features of the camera is that you can let the camera take care of all the settings or you can completely over ride everything.
So on auto it becomes a point and shoot camera allowing even amateurs to take great pictures. Or over ride everything and shoot like a pro.

I have been very pleased with the results i have had using all types of film such as Black and White, Colour and Slide film. When used with slide film the camera has an auto bracketing function so you can expose up to 2 steps below or above the standard setting.

It is marketed as a semi professional camera and I have seen many examples of work published by wildlife photographers using this camera.
It is a nice alternative to using the ubiquitous Canon or Nikon that most wildlife photographers seem to use.

Advantages: Fast auto focus but slower on the longer focal length lenses, A great semi pro camera, Outstanding picture quality

Disadvantages: Focus screen not suitable for use with manual lenses

Summary: Great camera and great results.

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Comments on this review

  • Coloneljohn published 18/05/2008
    Nice one and it's a very good camera. John
  • Expired-Account published 26/04/2008
    I would love a camera like this, nice review
  • brittle1906 published 25/04/2008
    Very good review.
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Product Information : Pentax MZ 5N

Manufacturer's product description


Listed on Ciao since: 18/11/2000